20 January 2012 by

Baby, it’s cold outside….

With the cold weather around the corner, snow and ice is a particular concern in the property sector. Injuries to occupiers or visitors are both distressing to those involved and potentially expensive for the responsible party.

If you are a landlord who has retained ownership of common parts of a property, it is likely that you have the obligation to either clear relevant areas of snow and ice or alternatively to provide your tenants with the equipment to do so, including a regularly restocked grit bin.

As a tenant if you occupy the whole (rather than part of) a property, it is likely that it is your obligation to clear snow and ice pursuant to the terms of your lease, including the general clause requiring you to comply with all statutory obligations e.g. Health and Safety at Work etc.

The relevant party should ensure that they comply with the snow code, yes there is one, by clearing ice and snow safely and following the advice of the HSE including

i) identifying outdoor areas likely to be affected

ii) monitoring temperature and taking preventative measures and

iii) putting a procedure in place to prevent an icy surface forming and keeping pedestrians off a slippery surface.

You must also think carefully before you clear any public highways. You are unlikely to be legally responsible for clearing these areas and may find that in performing a helpful and public service you are unwittingly held responsible for any injuries suffered and may not be covered by your buildings insurers.

If you need advice or reassurance as to your obligations and indeed your ability to recover the costs of the above measures by way of the service charge provisions in your lease, please call us on 0207 288 4700 or email us at info@boltburdon.co.uk

8 December 2011 by

The Rights of Unmarried Couples, a cautionary tale: Part 2

Those of you that read my blog of 20 May 2011 will no doubt have been waiting with bated breath for the decision of the Supreme Court in the case of Jones –v- Kernott. This was the cautionary tale of a couple that had been separated for more than 12 years when Mr Kernott sought a half share in their former home despite having made no contribution towards the mortgage or other household costs since separation.

19 December 2011 by

The Governments Autumn Statement

On 29 November 2011, George Osborne delivered the Government’s autumn statement.

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